The Best of 2014: Ice Bucket Challenge

Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Monday, December 29, 2014

The Best of 2014: Ice Bucket Challenge


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Mitchell Whisenhunt left an amazing gift for his daughter.  Mitchell died last October at the age of 26.  After his death, his widow was astonished to discover letters he left for her and their 18-month-old girl.  She will open a letter from her father every year from her second to her 18th birthdays.  Mitchell's gift highlights the abiding power of the written word, and is inspiring enough to be included in ABC's "most heartwarming stories of 2014."

 

On a different end-of-year topic, Google has released its top ten search topics for the year.  On the global list for 2014 is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which swept the Internet last summer and raised more than $115 million for ALS research. 

 

Now a host of imitators have tried to do the same.  One charity invited us to take a selfie first thing in the morning.  Actor Matt Damon dumped water on his head while asking for donations to Water.org.  A man submitted to waterboarding to raise awareness of suicide by veterans.  Another charity asked us to smash a pie in our faces.  

 

Why would we harm ourselves to raise money for charitable causes?  Scholars call this the "martyrdom effect," noting that potential donors seem attracted to fundraising efforts that cause them pain.  One explains: "We're supposed to prefer pleasure to pain but, when it comes to charity, you don't hear about massage-a-thons or dessert-a-thons.  Instead, you encounter charity marathons or the ice-bucket challenge."

 

Here's the good news: our ministry will not ask you to harm yourself in any way.  However, we do need to ask for your financial support as 2014 comes to an end.  God has called us to share his word in written form by engaging contemporary issues with biblical truth.  His word never returns empty, but always accomplishes his purpose for it (Isaiah 55:11).  It is a great privilege to connect Scripture with the challenges of our day.

 

Today's Cultural Commentary is being sent to more than 94,000 readers in 203 countries.  We can provide this commentary and our other online resources without charge because our readers supply all the finances that make our ministry possible.  We have no other source of support—without your help we cannot give God's word to our culture.

 

Would you help us continue this ministry?  For every two dollars you give, we are able to reach one new subscriber.  If you can't make a large donation today, perhaps you'd consider a recurring gift; $84 a month would provide $1,000 a year to support our work.

 

Would you ask the Lord if he wants you to partner with us in sharing his word with our world?  If he leads you to help us, please send a tax-deductible contribution to the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, 17304 Preston Road, Suite 1060, Dallas, Texas 75252.  Or you can click on this link to make a secure donation online.

 

However God leads you, know that I am honored to share this ministry with you.  May God richly bless you and yours, today and in the year to come.

 

 

Publication date: December 29, 2014

 

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